When dealing with loved ones who are aging, there is that tricky balance of still trying to give them a little independence and also checking up on their condition and situation out of worry and concern. Remote caregiving is the most convenient and yet not the most accessible. If you are in the Amazon ecosystem, they have released a new Alexa feature called Care Hub that should make it a little easier for both the one doing the caretaking and the aging loved one who still wants to retain a bit of privacy and independence.
Basically, Care Hub is a connection between the aging loved one’s Echo or Alexa-enabled device and the family member’s Alexa account. The loved one has to send an invitation to the family member which the latter has to accept. That’s it. That’s the simple setup. After that, it’s only a matter of using the feature and checking in on the loved one using their app. The loved one doesn’t need an Echo device, just an Alexa app.
You’ll get Care Hub alerts and activity feeds in the Alexa app when your loved one moves around their house. You can set it up and receive alerts when they do their first activity of the day. If no activity is detected at a certain time, you’ll also get a notification so you can easily tap the app to call or to do a Drop In depending on the device. The loved one simply goes about their day using Alexa, no need to do anything to update their family member.
They still retain privacy as well by limiting what the family member can see. For example, you can see that they used Alexa to watch a movie but it won’t tell you exactly what movie they saw. You also won’t be able to access what they are saying to Alexa. But the most important feature of Care Hub is if the loved one is in an emergency situation, they can just say “Alexa, call for help” and Alexa will send a call, text, and push notification to the designated emergency contact.
Care Hub is already available for Echo and Alexa users. Amazon said that they tested this with their own employees who used the feature for remote caregiving and gave them suggestions for improvements as well.